The Blog Aquatic » NOAA Administrator http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Tue, 12 Aug 2014 18:48:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Five Amazing Facts About Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Our Newly Confirmed Head of NOAA http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/06/five-amazing-facts-about-dr-kathryn-sullivan-our-newly-confirmed-head-of-noaa/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2014/03/06/five-amazing-facts-about-dr-kathryn-sullivan-our-newly-confirmed-head-of-noaa/#comments Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:02:39 +0000 Jeff Watters http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=7672 Kathryn Sullivan

Photo: NOAA

After a lengthy confirmation process, the U.S. Senate finally acted earlier today to confirm Dr. Kathryn Sullivan to be the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This won’t be a big change for NOAA because Sullivan has been serving as acting NOAA administrator since February 2013. Sullivan is a superb choice to lead our nation’s primary ocean agency, and we are thrilled that she has finally received Senate confirmation. In light of today’s news, here are five things you should know about our new NOAA administrator.

1.       She’s a real-life astronaut. Seriously.

While much of her scientific career has focused on the ocean, the prospect of flying into space was too much to resist. She was selected by NASA in 1978 and officially became an astronaut the following year. During her career as a NASA astronaut, Sullivan flew to space on three separate space shuttle missions aboard the space shuttles Challenger, Discovery and Atlantis. In these three missions, she logged more than 532 hours in space. She also became the first American woman to perform a spacewalk. Her distinguished accomplishments earned her the honor of being inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2004.

2.       A single book got her hooked on the ocean.

Describing her career path into oceanography in a blog last year, Sullivan said it all started with a single book in a single class during her freshman year of college. Like all University of California, Santa Cruz freshmen, she was required to take three out-of-major courses. So, she wound up in an introductory marine biology course – not her intended course of study. Here is how Sullivan described her experience reading the memoir Great Waters by Sir Alister Hardy: “I realized that oceanographers led exactly the kind of life I had dreamt of as a child, lives full of inquiry, exploration and adventure. I was hooked!”

3.       She served in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an oceanographer.

Not satisfied to just serve her country as a NASA astronaut and through high-level positions at NOAA, Sullivan also served as an oceanographer in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1988 to 2006.

 4.       She helped deploy the Hubble Space Telescope.

During her career as a NASA astronaut, Sullivan not only became the first American woman to conduct a spacewalk, but was also part of the space shuttle crew that deployed one of the world’s most famous satellites: the Hubble Space Telescope. That five-day mission in April 1990 aboard the space shuttle Discovery began a new era of space exploration.

 5.       She is no stranger to NOAA.

Sullivan has been serving as acting NOAA administrator since early last year, but this isn’t her first round at our nation’s premier ocean agency. Back in 1993, she was appointed as NOAA’s chief scientist, a position she held until 1996. More recently, in 2011, she was appointed to the position of NOAA deputy administrator in which she oversaw NOAA’s challenging satellite acquisitions and environmental monitoring missions.

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Nothing (Still) Beats an Astronaut and Oceanographer for Next NOAA Chief http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/09/18/nothing-still-beats-an-astronaut-and-oceanographer-for-next-noaa-chief/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/09/18/nothing-still-beats-an-astronaut-and-oceanographer-for-next-noaa-chief/#comments Wed, 18 Sep 2013 20:18:32 +0000 Jeff Watters http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=6671

Kathryn Sullivan, President Obama’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Sullivan’s nomination is on the move! The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation – the committee that has jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – is holding a hearing tomorrow on Kathryn Sullivan’s nomination to be the agency’s head. This is an important step towards Congressional approval of Sullivan’s nomination. NOAA is our nation’s lead ocean agency, and we hope that Congress moves swiftly to confirm Dr. Sullivan for this important post.

Learn more about the hearing here.

 

Excerpt from the original post:

The first American woman to walk in space. An oceanographer and acting NOAA administrator. Former president and CEO of Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry. These are just some of the highlights in the career of Kathryn Sullivan, President Obama’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Needless to say, she has some serious science cred.

This is great news for NOAA and all those who care about a healthy ocean. If confirmed, the agency will have strong leadership from someone who already has a good sense of the agency, its mission and its challenges.

With Sullivan’s background in both the ocean and satellites—which represent both NOAA’s “wet” and “dry” sides—she will provide the guidance needed to make the right decisions.

Click here to read the rest of the original post.

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Nothing Beats an Astronaut and Oceanographer for Next NOAA Chief http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/08/06/nothing-beats-an-astronaut-and-oceanographer-for-next-noaa-chief/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2013/08/06/nothing-beats-an-astronaut-and-oceanographer-for-next-noaa-chief/#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 21:00:01 +0000 Emily Woglom http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=6480

Kathryn Sullivan, President Obama’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The first American woman to walk in space. An oceanographer and acting NOAA administrator. Former president and CEO of Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry. These are just some of the highlights in the career of Kathryn Sullivan, President Obama’s nominee to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Needless to say, she has some serious science cred.

This is great news for NOAA and all those who care about a healthy ocean. If confirmed, the agency will have strong leadership from someone who already has a good sense of the agency, its mission and its challenges.

With Sullivan’s background in both the ocean and satellites—which represent both NOAA’s “wet” and “dry” sides—she will provide the guidance needed to make the right decisions.

When it comes to funding and resources, at times these dual missions are pitted against each other. As I’ve previously written, Congress must maintain balanced investments across NOAA’s missions. Americans shouldn’t have to choose between weather satellites and ocean and coastal resources that support and protect our coastal economies and communities. NOAA’s “wet side” programs contribute to disaster preparedness and mitigation, and support severe storm tracking and weather forecasting systems.

With Sullivan’s background, we expect her to understand the importance of supporting both sides, while finding the right balance across NOAA’s missions.

Perhaps the biggest challenge Sullivan faces may be working in today’s political climate. Some lawmakers in Congress don’t have the best track record when it comes to supporting our ocean. Whether it’s working on fisheries, climate or satellites, these tasks take courage. This job won’t be easy, but who better to take that on than a woman who has already proven to be a pioneer?

We look forward to hearing more from Sullivan and urge Congress to swiftly approve her nomination. We need smart, savvy and tough leaders defending our ocean right now, and Sullivan is the right pick for the job.

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